If you've ever wondered how some of the most successful companies in the world are able to attract the best talent around and produce outstanding products year in and year out, Valve's Handbook for New Employees is a great place to start educating yourself. A PDF of the handbook was recently uploaded at Flamehaus (now also officially from Valve) that reveals just how different (and awesome) it is to work at Valve.
Unlike a traditional job where the employee is given a desk and a set of instructions from a manager, those working a Valve don't have a manager. As outlined in the handbook, hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability, repeatability and managing a large number of people. But for one of the top entertainment companies on the planet, telling an employee to sit behind a desk and do one specific task kills 99 percent of their value.
As such, employees at Valve don't have managers - there's nobody to report to each day. Furthermore, workers get to select which projects they want to work on, have the power to green-light new projects and even ship products.
Every employee desk has a set of wheels on the bottom that serves two purposes. The first is a symbolic reminder that one should always consider where they could move to be more valuable. The other is literal - team members often move their desks close together when working on a project for obvious reasons.
Office perks are reminiscent of those found at Google which include a laundry service, gym, massage room and a game room, just to name a few. You can check out the entire handbook for more details by clicking here.